The multinational financial company Interactive Brokers LLC, which offers online trading on a variety of markets, provides its own platform that is available as desktop, web and mobile versions.
In general, IB platforms are aimed at ‘sophisticated traders and investors’ and the broker has tough minimum requirements. Although individual accounts can be opened (the minimum initial deposit is USD10,000), novice and little experienced traders will not feel comfortable working with platforms. Although platforms offer forex trading, they are designed for trading with other types of assets such as stocks and options. However, there is an additional module intended exclusively for forex called FXTrader.
IB WebTrader is an HTML-based trading application created for users who may not need the full-featured sophistication of the desktop version called Trader Workstation (TWS). Customers can trade from any Internet-connected computer with no downloads required.
After successful logging into the platform, the initial workspace is loaded. It is organized in tabs and the first tab ‘Market’ is active. It contains the Market View window that displays the default instrument list as a table whose rows show the name, daily change (as a price and as a percentage points), traded volume, bid size, bid, ask, and ask size of each instrument. Another tab (Watchlist) with favorites can be added, or another instrument in the default list can be included. This is done by clicking on the Add Watchlist and Add Row buttons. The Edit button is at the upper right corner of the Market View window. It allows the instruments and table rows to be rearranged, added or removed. Windows are designed in modules that can be moved.
Bid and ask prices are underlined and a click on them opens the Order management window. It has three tabs – New Order, Orders and Trades. The order properties can be set in the New Order tab. Customer can specify quantity, instrument, buy or sell and the type of order (market, limit) and can preview the order before submit it for fulfillment. Once set and submitted, the order appears into the Orders tab. It can be modified or cancelled here during the initial period allowing this (order is submitted but not fulfilled yet). Once executed, the order status changes to Filled and can be viewed in the Trades tab.
Account tab from the main window shows containing modules: Account balance, Margin requirements, Positions, Portfolio and Market value. Each of them displays corresponding information about the past and current deals. Except from the Order management window, open positions can be closed here.
Other tabs are for options trade, scanner (customers can filter only gainers, losers, most active, etc.), market pulse (shows performance of equities around the world, major currency pairs performance and equity volatility).
Preferences button gives access to setting and arrangement of the each of modules. It is divided into tabs that present corresponding properties that could be changed. Default values of orders can be set here as well. The content of any tab can be changed so that the platform meets the needs of the customer. Charts are also added from this section but unfortunately, they are flash-based and are informative only.